Five highlights from around the country:
1. In the most bizarre game of the night — which involved a goalie serving a five-minute major in the penalty box — Wisconsin beat Mankato 4-3 in OT. John Ramage scored the OT winner. MSU goalie Stephon Williams served a major for facemasking during the third period — yes he sat in the penalty box. For more, read the Free Press story.
2. Omaha outshot Denver 42-22 but lost 7-4 in Magness Arena. Omaha’s Ryan Walters tied the game with just 7:41 to go, but Denver’s Zac Larraza scored back-to-back goals to ice it for the Pioneers.
3. Pheonix Copley stopped 41 of 42 shots, but this time, it was not enough as his Michigan Tech team gave him no goal support. Duluth, missing three players due to suspensions, beat the Huskies 1-0 in the series opener. Copley has now stopped 111 of the last 112 shots (.991 save percentage).
4. Anchorage held a 3-2 lead with less than five minutes to go on No. 1 Minnesota, but forward Tyler Currier was called for a checking from behind major and the Gophers scored twice on the ensuing power play to win 4-3. Nick Bjugstad had two goals.
5. Michigan’s swoon and poor goaltending trend continued as the Wolverines allowed five goals on 21 shots in a 5-4 loss to Alaska.
WCHA top performers
3 points — Zac Larraza, Denver, 2 goals, 1 assist
3 points — Matt Tabrum, Denver, 2 goals, 1 assist
2 points — Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota, 2 goals
2 points — Matt Leitner, MSU, 2 goals
OT winner — John Ramage, Wisconsin
Shutout — Matt McNeely, 28 saves
CC 4, UND 3
UND played catch-up all night but could never get a lead. In the end, UND lost to Colorado College and watched its seven-game unbeaten streak disappear. Game stories:
- Drake Caggiula went out in the first period after getting checked from behind. He did not return and his status for the series finale is unknown. Caggiula’s best series of the year was against this Tiger team in Colorado Springs.
- Michael Parks was ejected for a facemasking major. With this penalty and ejection is NOT mandated like it is with the checking from behind major. So the decision of the refs to toss Parks put UND down to 10 forwards for the second half of the game.
- UND coach Dave Hakstol said he actually thought the team had more jump in the second half when there were 10 forwards.
- Corban Knight’s point streak reached 16 games, but he was uncharacteristically beaten in the faceoff circle for a night. He went 12-17.
- UND played from behind all night and I think Clarke Saunders will want the first goal back. It looked like a relatively harmless shot from outside the dot with no screen by a guy who had never scored a college goal.
- I didn’t think that Colorado College goalie Joe Howe was particularly sharp. He left a lot of big rebounds. I think we’ll see Josh Thorimbert in the series finale.
- Colorado College stacked its top line with Alexander Krushelnyski, Rylan Schwartz and William Rapuzzi. But it wasn’t the dominance of that line that led Colorado College. The Tigers actually received one goal from each of their four lines.
- Danny Kristo is catching fire with a goal in each of the last six games.
- There were a lot more empty seats than normal because of the blizzard. Make sure to check road conditions and travel warnings before heading to Grand Forks/The Ralph tonight.
- Major props to The Ralph and staff. On a night when everyone was tracking in slush, the staff was there cleaning it up immediately. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in any building, and The Ralph stayed extremely clean on a sloppy night.